Canon EOS M5 review

December 16, 2016

Overall Rating:


Canon EOS M5

  • Features:
  • Build/Handling:
  • Metering:
  • Autofocus:
  • AWB Colour:
  • Dynamic Range:
  • Image quality:
  • LCD viewfinder:


  • + Superb control layout and handling for such a small camera
  • + Excellent image quality in both JPEG and raw
  • + Works extremely well with a wide range of EF-mount SLR lenses
  • + Easy-to-use wireless communication using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi


  • - Relatively small and over-contrasty electronic viewfinder
  • - Shutter is noisier than most mirrorless rivals
  • - Price is very high



Price as Reviewed:

£1,049.00 (body only)

It’s been a long wait, but finally Canon has launched its first really serious SLR-style mirrorless camera. Andy Westlake finds out how it stands up in this competitive market

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 Canon EOS M5 review: Viewfinder and screen

Canon EOS M5 viewfinder

The 2.36-million-dot EVF is a little small and exaggerates colours

For eye-level viewing, the M5 uses a 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF similar to that used in the PowerShot G5 X. With a 120fps live view feed and a magnification of around 0.62x, it’s considerably smaller than those in similarly priced competitors, and indeed comparable in size to the EVFs used in much cheaper cameras such as the Fujifilm X-T10 and Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. This is exacerbated by the overly saturated and contrasty display, which exaggerates colours and makes shadow areas difficult to see in bright light (unlike on many other models there’s no facility to adjust the EVF’s colour or contrast, just its brightness). However, the viewfinder provides a reasonably useful indication of whether highlights might clip, and naturally gives a much more accurate depiction of depth of field compared to the optical viewfinders of DSLRs.

The EVF is complemented by a 3.2in 1.62-million-dot LCD that tilts upwards for use a waist-level finder, or downwards for overhead shots. It can even be set to face fully forwards beneath the camera for selfies, rather like the Olympus Pen E-PL7 and E-PL8. It’s bright, sharp and clear and its 3:2 aspect ratio matches the sensor perfectly. An eye sensor allows the camera to switch from the LCD to EVF automatically, or alternatively you can set a custom button to do this manually. But the difference between the two displays is huge; shots that appear rich and colourful in the EVF often look much lighter and washed out on the LCD. The reality, when viewing image files later on a calibrated monitor, tends to be somewhere between the two.

The touch-sensitive LCD tilts upwards by 85° and downwards by 180° to face forwards underneath the camera’s body for selfies

The touch-sensitive LCD tilts upwards by 85° and downwards by 180° to face forwards underneath the camera’s body for selfies

Both the viewfinder and screen can display useful additional information during shooting, including a well-designed dual-axis electronic level and a live histogram that can show red, green and blue channels separately, a handy trick that is unique to Canon. You can configure up to three display modes with different amounts of information, and cycle through them using the Info button. If you prefer using the EVF, the LCD can be set to show a detailed status screen/ quick control panel.

  • Sensor: 24.2MP APS-C Dual Pixel CMOS
  • Output size: 6000 x 4000
  • Lens mount: EF-M
  • Focal length magnification: 1.6x
  • Shutter speeds: 30-1/4000sec + bulb
  • ISO sensitivity: ISO 100-25,600
  • Exposure modes: P, A, S, M, Scene Intelligent Auto, Hybrid Auto, Creative Assist, Scene, Creative Filters
  • Metering modes: Evaluative, partial, centre-weighted, spot
  • Exposure compensation: +/3 EV in 1/3 steps
  • Continuous shooting: 9fps (fixed focus), 7fps (with AF)
  • Screen: 3.2in 1.62-million-dot tilting touchscreen
  • Viewfinder: 2.36-million-dot OLED EVF
  • AF points: 49
  • Video: Full HD (1920 x 1080), 60fps
  • External Mic: Yes, 3.5mm stereo
  • Memory card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Power: LP-E17 Li-Ion
  • Battery life: 295 shots; 420 in ECO mode
  • Dimensions: 115.6 x 89.2 x 60.6 mm
  • Weight: 427g inc battery and card

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